Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers split with Mt. Home

Leader sports editor

The Cabot basketball teams picked up a 7A/6A-East Conference split on the long annual road trip to Mountain Home on Friday. The Lady Panthers trounced their hosts 49-15, while the boys watched the Bombers pull away from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter for a 44-34 victory.

The Mountain Home boys led just 22-21 going into the fourth quarter, but Cabot’s Hunter Southerland scored first in the fourth to give the Panthers the lead. With 6:46 remaining in the game, Bomber guard Howie Wehmeyer shot the first of 18 Mountain Home free throws in the final frame, making both to make it 24-23.

After Cabot (10-7, 0-5) failed to score on the ensuing possession, Wehmeyer went to the line again, making the first and missing the second. It was the last missed free throw by the Bombers, who made their final 14 in a row to finish the game.

Minutes later, Wehmeyer buried a 3-pointer that put his team up 28-23 with 4:33 left in the game, and the Bombers (11-7, 2-3) scored almost exclusively from the foul line the rest of the game.

“I honestly thought they were fouling as much as we were,” said Cabot coach Jerry Bridges. “We have to do a better job of moving our feet and showing our hands I guess. We’ll continue working to get better at that.”

Southerland scored to bring Cabot to within three points, but four free throws by Bomber Preston Groesbeck and a bucket by Skylar Culver put the home team up by 11 with 2:17 remaining.

Cabot, who had only four players score while still playing without three key players, answered each possession from that point, but Mountain Home went to the floor on each of its last four possessions, making all eight free throws to set the final margin.

Southerland led all scorers with 21 points and was the only Panther to score in double figures. Wehmeyer led Mountain Home with 17 while Groesbeck added 13 for the Bombers.

The Lady Panthers also had just one player in double figures, but saw 10 different players get on the scoreboard in their runaway win. Cabot scored the first eight points of the game, but took just a 10-4 lead into the second quarter. That changed quickly in the second period, when Cabot scored 14 unanswered points for a 24-4 lead and complete control of the game. CoCo Calhoon scored six in a row to start the second quarter and eight of her game-high 10 points during the run.

The Lady Panthers led by 29 twice in the third quarter, ending the frame with a 39-10 lead. They quickly enacted the sportsmanship rule just seconds into the fourth quarter. After a technical foul on Mountain Home, Josie Vanoss sank two free throws that started the continuous clock the rest of the game.

Danielle McWilliams added nine points, four assists and four steals for Cabot (15-5, 3-2).